Harena Now – new angles

I have decided to try a new angle with Harena Now. Although I will still solely be making my work with sand, seawater and UV, I have been considering using sourced images of the people and place effected by the sand crisis.

I have also recently been experimenting with double exposure images of the pre and post-wash cyanotypes I make as part of my #365cyanotypechallenge – in relation to Harena Now this feels like another possibility for creating images as it is a further means to represent human interference; especially as it is done digitally on computers or phones that need sand to exist.

For the image below, I sourced a photograph from Pixabay that is free to use (commercially or otherwise), turned this into a negative and erased/tweaked elements to create a soft edged image.

This was then used with a combination of sand, water and UV to imprint an image on coated cyanotype paper. The pre and post-wash results were photographed (including the sand traces on the pre-wash paper) and then joined in an app to create a double exposure, which was in turn manipulated until the final result was determined.

©Josie Purcell. 2017.

The original image on Pixabay is shown below:


The ideas behind this technique relate to my thought process on how, despite how much as a species we perhaps like to think otherwise, nature has the ability to tame us.

Sand may well one day reclaim the places we extract it from.

Having recently applied for funding to travel to Sri Lanka to run workshops around the issues people have faced there due to sand mining, I hope to be able to take my own portraits of those who are involved in the market and the solution. In the meantime, I aim to continue with this idea a little more to see if it fits or not.


(1). Tech Radar. Available at: http://www.techradar.com/news/phone-and-communications/mobile-phones/our-smartphone-addiction-is-costing-the-earth-1299378 [accessed November 27, 2017]

Pixabay. Available at: https://pixabay.com/en/service/terms/#usage [accessed November 27, 2017]